Tougher sanctions mooted on illegal trade in animals and plants
The Swiss government wants to tighten sanctions against the illegal trade in protected wild flora and fauna.
Under the proposal, the trafficking of protected species for commercial purposes would become a punishable crime, according to a statement by the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office.
The sale of protected animals and plants would also be made more transparent and the government could introduce import bans on a temporary basis.
The proposals which are in line with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) are put to political parties, institutions and organisations for consultation until November before the government is due to present a bill to parliament.
The move comes less than a week before the member states to CITES are meeting in the Swiss city of Geneva for a major conference.
Switzerland has been a signatory and depositary state to the convention since 1973 and the CITES secretariat is based in Geneva.